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Summary: This message looks at how the birth of Jesus changed everything for Mary and Joseph

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A Line in Time Mary and Joseph

It was almost as if someone had dragged a stick though the sand drawing a line that said this was then and this is now. There has never been an event in the history of man that has so defined human history as the birth of Jesus.

That line has defined time, nations and history. When we speak of any event in the course of history in any nation we define it with the letter B.C. before the birth of Christ, or A. D. Anno Domini, or in English In the Year of the Lord.

It wasn’t always that way, time was usually divided by who the ruler was at the time. Do you remember the way our story starts? The bible tells us that the birth of Jesus was originally dated by the fact that most of the known world was ruled by Caesar Augustus and today we know that Augustus died in 14. 14 What? 14, the Year of the Lord. 33 years later Jesus was crucified under the authority of Caesar Tiberius. Tiberius died in 37, the year of our Lord. History has been divided into two sections those things that happened before Jesus was born and those things that happened after Jesus was born.

And yet it was the humblest of beginnings. There wasn’t one person who was there that first Christmas that could have imagined the impact the event would have on the world. Last spring I preached on the theme “Who is this Man?” During that time we looked at how the world has changed because of the birth of Christ. The difference in the way the poor are viewed, how education is viewed, how the sick are viewed, even how we view each other. Because 2000 years ago in a stable in a small village a young lady gave birth. And nobody knew that this birth would create a line in time.

The main players that day were a young lady named Mary and her husband Joseph, and long before the birth of Christ changed the world, it changed their world.

And we know the story, we’ve heard it told over and over again until the wonder has gone and it has become as mundane as a Christmas card. But it was anything but ordinary. Listen again to how the story begins: Matthew 1:18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Did you catch that “While she was still a virgin, she became pregnant. . .” That’s not the way it normally happens, and in Luke’s account when the angel Gabriel visits Mary with the news that she is going to have a son she makes this statement Luke 1:34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” There was no hesitation, she knew there was only one way to make a baby and she knew that that hadn’t happened. “Hold on guy, there’s a small problem here and that is that I have never been with a man.” She was saying that she was a virgin.

And there are those out there who this time of year would say that the virgin birth is impossible, and there are even preachers who would say that the virgin birth isn’t important.

But while it might be impossible, and I don’t try to argue that, even the angel Gabriel didn’t argue that point, he simply put it to rest in Luke 1:37 when he said Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God.”

So while it is impossible, at least in the natural scheme of things, it is of the utmost importance. This is the human birth of God’s son, shouldn’t it be special. He was conceived outside the laws of nature, not because the ordinary way was wrong but because it was ordinary.

It’s amazing how many people can accept the resurrection but have problems with the virgin birth. You know, if you can accept the resurrection of Christ, you should be able to accept the virgin birth of Christ.

And ultimately if you don’t believe in the resurrection, then it really doesn’t matter if you accept the virgin birth or not. After all Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In other words if there was no resurrection you are backing the wrong horse.

And if she wasn’t a virgin then who was Jesus father? Joseph? I don’t think so, after all Joseph was a wee bit upset when he found out that his fiancé was pregnant. And if it wasn’t Joseph, do you really think that God would send his son to be born through immorality, conceived through adultery and betrayal.

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